Sunday, May 8, 2022

Into the Oddballs for 5e

 Man, Into the Odd was/is so good. Hyper fast setup: 3d6 three times, then 1d6 for hit points. Consult the chart 'n' off you go, with some interesting and balanced (in a way) weirdos. I wish 5e could be that quick and simple.

Well, you know what? It can be!

I dont have Electric Bastionland, or ItO Remastered, or more current iterations of the thing but I do have the waaaaay back ItO , and the early one with the red cover. That is not to say you shouldn't go get those new things, but this is a remainder from the Geeplus days of ItO and has wormed around in my moth-eaten brain for some time. I haven't tried it as such, but it's sprouting now and if radical alteration of the fundamentals of games is not your thing, then probably move along now. I'm ripping it from the Red Cover version down below.

So: You roll 3d6 three times and 1d6 for starting hit points (or 4d4 if you want the median to move up a little bit at the expense of headroom). You put those where you want them. The rest of your stats are 8. Yes, 8. These are 0-level dorkusses. The background will be "Oddball Novitiate" or something like that. Don't apply racial bonuses or abilities just yet. You don't get the rest of the stuff you might otherwise get, either. Save that for after your first mini adventure. Consult the chart (I hope Chris and Paolo don't mind I screen capped it - I purposely kept the resolution pretty low). Where it says 'Arcana', for the really low powered folks, you get a totally-randomly-generated magic item, up to and including Earth-Shaking unique artifacts. ImHO a level-0 with the Hand of Vecna would be awesome, and a perfect candidate for all sorts of shenanigans. Balance and fairness be damned. You can get 1d6 times 10 gold pieces, too. As a treat. for rations and candles or whatever. Then, you get dropped full on into some precarious situation. Maybe your skyship is caught an a mountain peak and you need to get into the town below for supplies (actually happened in a ItO game I ran back in the day)

Weapons do the appropriate amount of damage and types, and firearms can do either Blunt or Radiant or Fire or whatever as you like, since they could be laser guns, too in my game.

Taaadaaaa! Fast and furious - off you go and stay in trouble, kids!

Time To Play Ball

It is Spring, and my brain is afire with bad ideas and worthwhile/-less projects to accomplish. I don't know what it is about this time of year but my nervous system is trying to convert from winter mode to spring mode. It's great - by "great" I mean mild hypomania feels nice - but it's bad because the raw tension of wanting to do a million little tasks and being able to accurately complete like 10% of them means I'm grinding my teeth a lot and strangely hostile and irritable-r than usual. Serotonin issues.

Here is an example project: I have in mind a fantasy baseball draft league in which we use the Deadball rules by W.M. Aker, which use standard DnD dice to simulate a game of baseball. Why? uhhhhhhhhh Why not? I only have the original version of the rules and they are great, and there has been some fun expansions of the system. An April fool's version/expansion a few years ago had my simulated game turn into an orgy of violence and it was terrific, but sadly we (meaning "I") did not complete the game and the season languished.

A cool thing about the original rules is that they provide for random generation of players, or you can convert real players from their stats. As you may gather, this is my literal jam and biscuits: I love that kind of stuff. And so, I have begun work on  not just some league tournament play ideas (probably fruitless and will come to nothing) but also a Tablesmith generator for teams. I'd kind of like it incorporate my funny Dickensian-names generator and also a real-life American names generator that could (hilariously, in my view) incorporate some "Engrish" name changing rules a la that wonky early 1990s SNES baseball game. I would work on this partly because it would allow me to populate my internal fantasy realm (sort of Mad Max crossed with Wizards of Oz) with minor league baseball teams, and partly because I want to toy with the string manipulation functions of Tablesmith... it occurs to me there's a pretty interesting Venn Diagram between 1970's era NY street gangs, Murderhobos as we know them from DnD, and bush league ball teams. Any loose collection of dudes trying to get paid is always going to be a sketchy proposition

Seems to me on reflection that Baseball and DnD are some particularly American brands of past-times, that I used to be very very fond of playing, that just sort of beg to be folded into fantasy Americana

YMMV of course

Anyways, I got a box of 6 packs of Allen & Ginter Topps "vintage cards" and here is my team, plus Randy "Macho Man" Poffo of course. Think I'm gonna add some ladies and maybe some fictional ball players, also

  1. John Kruk, Philadelphia Phillies
  2. Robin Yount, Milwaukee Brewers
  3. Darryl Strawberry, NY  Mets
  4. Kirby Puckett, Minnesota Twins
  5. Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds
  6. Reggie Jackson, Oakland A's
  7. Harold Baines, Chicago White Sox
  8. Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox
  9. Don Sutton, Los Angeles Dodgers
  10. Mark McGwire, St. Louis Cardinals
  11. Andre Dawson, Montreal Expos

more to come, hold on.  Maybe i'll drop my "Minor League Ball Player" background for D&D 5e, and a "Baseball Furies" model stolen from the PS2 _The Warriors_ game... (these are all conjectural and works in progress so ill get em done when I get em done)

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